I recently bought a house with the laundry closet upstairs. The washer and dryer were conveyed to us by the sellers. The washer does not have a drain pan underneath it, and as far as I can see, the laundry room does not have a floor drain.

I'm planning to have a drain pan placed under the washer, but I don't think I will install a floor drain as this will require substantial plumbing work (the laundry closet is in the middle of the house).

What else can I do to prevent water damage from supply hose leaks in the absence of a floor drain? I'm thinking of installing the Floodstop automatic shut-off valves, and wondering if anyone has experience with this or better suggestions.

A product like Floodstop will not prevent leakages from the drain hose. Do I need to be concerned about significant water damage from a detached/leaking drain hose? The washer I have is an LG Direct Drive front load one, so it minimizes the water it holds at any point in a cycle. If I do need to be concerned about drain hose leakage, what solutions are available to prevent it?

Thank you, Fijoy

  • How close is this 2nd story laundry area to a bathroom, sink or kitchen on the first floor? It may be possible to plumb a drain hose connection for the washer safety drain pan into an existing drain connection. An alternative that I've seen in several instances is to push a drain line in from an outside wall in between the 2nd level floor joists up to the laundry area. Often this scheme can provide a drain with minimal inside re-work except for an opening in the floor of the laundry closet. On the outside wall you can let the drain line stick out a ways (continued) – Michael Karas Oct 28 '15 at 4:28
  • (continued from above) or you could plumb a pipe down outside wall of the house toward the ground. – Michael Karas Oct 28 '15 at 4:28

I'm adding this as answer because I really think this is a solution that will work for you, even though as written, I really can't call it a duplicate.

Check out this question and related answers: How can I turn off the power to an outlet if a water alarm is triggered?

The basic idea is to get a device that cuts power to the washer if water is detected. This will minimize any damage from a broken drain line since the machine will stop pumping water when the power is cut off.


There are products that can automatically open and close the water lines to the washing machine when it senses that the washer is turned on or off. They tend to also included a leak sensor as well to protect if a leak occurs when operating.

Example: http://www.watts.com/pages/_products_details.asp?pid=3427

They also have retrofit versions: http://media.wattswater.com/1911452.pdf


The Floodstop valves shut the water supply when the sensor gets wet. If the sensor is in a spot that gets wet when the drain hoses leak, it will work. So a sensor would definitely go in the drain pan. That would trip whenever water accumulated in the drain pan.

If you're concerned about hose leaks, you could add another sensor to the floodstop ($20) and position that one under the hoses.

  • If I'm not mistaken, Floodstop cannot prevent water leaks from drain hose. A damaged/detached drain hose can continue to dump water into the closet even after the Floodstop shuts the water supply, until all the water that is already inside the washer is emptied. This is because the washer has a built in pump inside it. – Fijoy Vadakkumpadan Oct 28 '15 at 13:59

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